Tes focus on…Supporting non-native English speakers

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Teachers should avoid making ‘recklessly’ generalised assumptions about the needs and abilities of children who speak English as an additional language and instead piece together the puzzle of each student’s unique linguistic background, finds Chris Parr

Tes focus on... non-native English speakers

Darius and Anna are both Lithuanian. Darius was born in the UK, his parents speak both English and Lithuanian at home, and he is comfortable in either language. Anna has only recently emigrated to England and neither of her parents speaks English yet, although both are learning. Anna speaks very little English but is very keen to learn.

Both Anna and Darius are classed as having English as an additional language (EAL) as far as school categorisation goes. Often, that can mean they are viewed as needing similar support in school, too.

This, according to many academics, is bonkers ...

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